Woodside to invest $2.6 billion in Israeli venture

February 7, 2014

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL), Australia’s second-largest oil producer, plans to buy a quarter of Israel’s biggest natural gas field for as much as $2.6 billion under a revised agreement as demand rises in the Middle East, Bloomberg reported on February 7.

Woodside agreed to pay Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) and its partners in the Leviathan venture an initial $850 million when the deal is completed, due by the end of next month, the Perth-based company said today in a statement. The stake is smaller than the 30 percent negotiated in a December 2012 deal worth as much as $2.3 billion, though the estimated size of the resource rose to 18.9 trillion cubic feet of gas from 17 trillion cubic feet.

A deal would put Woodside in the middle of Israel’s nascent natural gas industry as the company’s proposed projects in Australia face delays. The original 2012 agreement was held up because of uncertainty over Israel’s export policy, while the venture partners also shifted the project focus from liquefied natural gas to pipeline shipments.

Copyright: Bloomberg, 2014